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She is the woman behind Beachworld Dollar Baby Film.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Jackie Perez: My name is Jackie Perez and I LOVE horror.  I’m first and foremost a screenwriter and direct whenever I get the chance. I lived in Los Angeles for the past 5 years, but I just moved around the world to Bahrain which has been quite the change! I used to be a nuclear engineer in the Navy before I discovered my passion for screenwriting.  I love writing genre features and had my first contest win last year at Screamfest. I also work remotely as a grants manager for STEM, creative, and veteran non-profits.

SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become a filmmaker?

Jackie Perez: Movies had always been my escape growing up but it wasn’t until I was studying at MIT for undergrad that I realized filmmaking was an actual career option.  Of course by then I was already well underway into an environmental engineering degree.  I heard Eli Roth speak at a preview screening of Hostel in late 2005 and he answered a question from an audience member about the necessity of going to film school to “make it.”  Roth answered that it didn’t make a difference if you went to film school or not, that the difference was hard work and perseverance, that he graduated with an entire class of wannabe filmmakers but he was there with a movie on the big screen because he did the crappy jobs, got experience, and kept at it. I was hooked. I was self-taught and wrote and directed three short films before graduation.  When I got out of the Navy, my first stop was Hollywood.

I drove to LA with no connections and gave myself 2 years to figure things out.  I started-out at unpaid internships at a production company and management company where I asked tons of questions learning the basics, and then landed assistant jobs Creative Artists Agency and Justin Lin’s Perfect Storm Entertainment.  The entire time I was trying new things, meeting new people, and learning the ropes of the industry.  I fell in love with screenwriting when I participated in the Writers Guild Foundation’s Veterans Writing Project and decided to earn my Masters of Fine Arts in Television and Screenwriting through Stephens College.  For me, getting an advanced degree was the right decision because I wanted to immerse myself in writing and form a network of professional writing peers that I didn’t have working on the development side of things.  I did a low-residency program so I could continue working full time and filming my own projects.  Making my first short with professional actors and a real budget was eye-opening!  I am self-taught through and through and am constantly learning, trying to go a little bigger and further outside my comfort zone each time. I’m first and foremost a screenwriter and want to build a career as such, but I love the thrill of directing. I know there’s a feature somewhere in my future and after Beachworld, I’m confident enough and ready to take it on.

SKSM: When did you make Beachworld Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?

Jackie Perez: I’d been developing the script for over a year but things kept getting in the way of nailing down production dates like grad school finals and wedding planning.  Once the honeymoon was over, the holidays hit and by the time 2018 rolled around it was now or never because I had the big overseas move looming on the horizon. My producer Brian Campeau (OneNinth Media)  and I set a date and the train started moving.

It turns out we were incredibly lucky with the date we chose to shoot on location at the Glamis Sand Dunes. The day before it was extremely windy and no good for drone shots, and the day after the temperature jumped into the mid-90s and it would have been way too hot.  I was really worried because we were shooting around Spring Break and didn’t know how tracked up the dunes would be from buggies, but we caught the perfect day in late March.  It was still hot, but wind was manageable, the Alexa camera didn’t get damaged from any sand, and no one got sun burned or passed out.  The camera kept shutting down so we lost almost an hour switching out batteries until we figured out a fix. Our DP Sarah Phillips did an amazing job.

We shot one day on location on the Glamis Sand Dunes and finished up with two days at Pollution Studios in Los Angeles.  As for cost, it was the biggest budget I’ve ever worked with which was awesome, but we were stuffing 20 lbs of film in a 10 lb bag so there were plenty of challenges to overcome, favors to ask, and incredibly talented people who worked for way below their normal rates.

SKSM: How come you picked Beachworld to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?

Jackie Perez: I read all of the available Dollar Baby stories and chose Beachworld because of my proximity to the largest dunes in CA.  It was a tough love decision because Grey Matter is my favorite King short story but the snowy setting was something I didn’t want to compromise on and it’s so much trickier working with child actors because of union rules.

When I first read the story, I was drawn to the isolation theme.  My longest time out to sea when I was in the Navy was 84 days in between port calls on deployment.  When you are crossing the Pacific Ocean without a ship in sight or on radar, the empty vastness is both serene and terrifying. I was wrapping up my MFA and I had never written an adaptation but I knew I wanted to put my personal stamp on the story.  There are quite a few changes that were made for either creative and budgetary reasons and as a huge horror fan, I had to make it bloody.

It took me quite some time to figure out how I wanted to approach the story, but once I made a specific character decision, a lightbulb went off and everything else clicked into place. I’m really excited to hear what people think, especially those who are familiar with the source material because I wrote a very different ending,

SKSM: How did you find out that King sold the movie rights to some of his stories for just $1? Was it just a wild guess or did you know it before you sent him the check?

Jackie Perez: I was at a bbq of my friend who helped produce my last two shorts and he introduced me to another big Stephen King fan who had just gotten the rights to Strawberry Spring and I was like “WHAT? Tell me everything!” I was actually angry with myself for not knowing about Dollar Babies being such a big fan and all, but the timing was perfect because I wouldn’t have been ready as a filmmaker if I had tried to make this earlier and the final product just wouldn’t have been as good. I sent in my pitch with some of the changes I wanted to make and got the OK. I think it’s such an amazing way to give back to the emerging film community and I am forever thankful for the opportunity.

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?

Jackie Perez: Really the most special part about it was being able to come together with my friends to make something I loved and have them all supporting me and bringing my vision to life. It was extremely bittersweet knowing I’d be moving but so many of my friendships deepened because of this project and I just feel so lucky to have found those friendships in the first place during my time in Los Angeles.

SKSM: How does it feel that all the King fans out there can’t see your movie? Do you think that will change in the future? Maybe a internet/dvd release would be possible?

Jackie Perez: My goal is to get it out to as many Stephen King and horror/sci-fi fans as possible within the boundaries of the option contract. We’ll definitely share a trailer (our teaser is out) and with a strong festival showing I’m hoping a lot of fans get to watch.  Everyone who is interested can sign up for updates on our website and we’ll keep them updated on when/how/where they can watch.

SKSM: What “good or bad” reviews have you received on your film?

Jackie Perez: So far so good! We’re really close to locking picture and still have to finish sound design, music, and VFX so hardly anyone outside of the production has seen it but the feedback has been really positive, especially with respect to the final scene.

SKSM: Do you plan to screen the movie at a particular festival?

Jackie Perez: We haven’t started submitting it to festivals yet since we’re still in post-production, but I would love to see it screen at Screamfest this year.  Last year I was on my honeymoon in New Zealand during the festival when I found out I won an award. I mean, the honeymoon was great and all but I was so bummed to miss out on the fest! It’d be great to fly back and experience it with the cast and crew of Beachworld since they are all in LA. Another film festival I’d love to have it screen at is Citizen Jane which is all about achieving gender parity in film and telling womens’ stories.  There are so many amazing female-forward and genre film festivals we want to submit to! We’ll share festival and screening updates on our Facebook page and website.

SKSM: Are you a Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and adaptations?

Jackie Perez: I’m a huge Stephen King fan and my love for his work literally started in the womb when my mom read IT, Christine, and The Stand when she was pregnant.  My favorite adaptation hands down is Misery.  Kathy Bates is magnificent and it’s one of the rare books that you can read back to back with the film and still cringe even knowing what is coming next.  I would have expected nothing less from William Goldman adapting.

My all-time favorite King book is The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon.  I’d LOVE to get Mr. King’s permission to adapt that into a screenplay, moving from the isolation of Beachworld to the isolation of the Maine woods. The stories I write explore the choices we make and the people we become when shit hits the fan.  We either step up, shut down, or go insane. The story of survival against the odds is one of pure human instinct.  Resilience against fear and the unknown is universal.

I do have to mention this: only 2 of the almost 71 feature film adaptations of King’s works credit women as writers (co-writers).  I want to be the one that turns that dismal 3% stat to a slightly less dismal 4% and watch it go up and up from there. I want to also point out only 2 adapted features have been directed by women. It was inspiring seeing Bridget Carpenter helm 11.22.63 but I don’t think I have to run through the rest of the television stats and the adaptations and remakes in development to prove that women are grossly underrepresented in the King to Film and TV world. Which is quite disheartening for me because he writes such amazing, complex women. I hope he’ll consider my pitch to adapt Trisha McFarland’s story for the big screen and I hope Hollywood starts hiring more women to lead these projects.

SKSM: Did you have any personal contact with King during the making of the movie? Has he seen it (and if so, what did he think about it)?

Jackie Perez: No, but I’ll be taping a special message to go with the film when I send it to him.

SKSM: Do you have any plans for making more movies based on Stephen King’s stories? If you could pick -at least- one story to shoot, which one would it be and why?

Jackie Perez: I’m taking things one step at a time but of course I’d love to work on another Stephen King project!  (See above!)

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Jackie Perez: I’m finishing up a horror feature script called Thicker Than Water which is inspired by the Mexican legend of the Lechuza, an ancient shape-shifting woman that has sold her soul to Satan in exchange for dark magical powers.  The proof of concept short script was a semi-finalist in the NALIP (National Association of Latino Independent Producers) short film incubator.

SKSM: What one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Jackie Perez: People are always surprised by the whole MIT/nuclear engineer to horror screenwriter career shift. What can I say, I dream big.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Jackie Perez: You can find out more about Beachworld and stay up to date with news about the project through our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/beachworldfilm and website www.beachworldfilm.com.

My personal website is www.jackierageperez.com

SKSM: Would you like to add anything else?

Jackie Perez: Oscar, thank you for your support of independent film and the Stephen King Dollar Baby community!!

He played in Max Richter‘s Popsy as The Thug.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Andrew Olszewski: Well, My name is Andrew Olszewski and I am a filmmaker! I specialize in video editing and producing. I recently graduated from DePaul University, in Chicago Illinois with a BFA in Film and Television with a concentration in editing.

SKSM: In addition to playing a role in this film you were the producer and the editor. What was more difficult to do?

Andrew Olszewski: The hardest part in my opinion is producing. That involves so much planning and communication that it can be overwhelming if you don’t plan every single aspect of the film. Editing is almost second nature to me, so I would say producing and the pre- production was the most difficult part of the film.

SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actor?

Andrew Olszewski: My acting role in this film was pretty minimal (I was a thug throwing some kicks at the beginning) but I have been acting in other films and shows for a while now. I always just thought acting was fun, and over the past year I have taken it a little more seriously.

SKSM: How did you become involved in Popsy Dollar Baby film?

Andrew Olszewski: My buddy Max (director) and I had been wanting to make a larger scale film for a while now and he came across this program. We thought it was a no brainer to see what we could do with this opportunity!

SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?

Andrew Olszewski: I think the weirdness of it all is what attracts people. Stephen King has a way of making an audience become engaged from the very beginning.  Also, because it is Stephen King, a viewer already knows that there is going to be a weird twist at the end!

SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?

Andrew Olszewski: I sort of fell into the small part I had. Instead of making it a huge deal and casting a thug, we decided I could fill the part easily enough.

SKSM: You worked with Max Richter on this film, how was that?

Andrew Olszewski: Max and I have been great friends since the beginning of college. We have a great friendship and work very well together. We have made many films together and so far and this was the biggest production to date. He is a great director and knows how to capture the moment of each and every scene.

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?

Andrew Olszewski: Well, every production has its funny moments, I think the behind the scenes video captures some of that, but overall the entire production was a great experience.

SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?

Andrew Olszewski: Most everyone involved I still have at least some contact with. Whether that be simply friends on facebook or friends in real life. Noah Sliwa was actually an old buddy from Michigan that made the trip to Chicago to film and help out on set, so that was pretty cool!

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Andrew Olszewski: Max and I are currently in post production on another film. It is called “Eyes Only For You” and explores some pretty heavy topics. We are really excited to finish the film and send it out to some film festivals, and hopefully leave an impact on viewers.

SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Andrew Olszewski: I would say it is hard to not be a fan! He has an amazing way to craft a story and keep a viewer on their toes. I think everyone can learn something after reading/watching a story Stephen King has made.

SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Andrew Olszewski: I love sports! Though I sit behind a computer most my days I make sure to stay active and shoot hoops when I can. Also, I have a youtube channel with almost 10 million views!

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Andrew Olszewski: Thanks for all of the support! It means a whole lot to me and everyone involved in this production!

He played in Viktor Hernandez’s Dollar Baby One For The Road as Booth.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Robert L. Edwards: My name is Robert L. Edwards, I am originally from Emporia, VA. I currently reside in the greater Charlotte, NC area. I have been living in this area for the past 8 years. My primary occupation is a college music professor and Director of Bands at a local Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in addition to being a SAG-AFTRA-Eligible actor. As soon as I move towards being cast in more SAG-AFTRA productions, I will join the SAG-AFTRA union. I also hold a Doctoral degree in Education and Leadership with the focus on administration. One of my strongest qualities in music is music production, composition, and arranging for bands. I am also a trumpeter and an advocate for the performing and visual arts, especially for students and educators in arts education. I firmly believe that the performing and visual arts can develop the necessary soft skills that students need for the workforce.

SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actor?

Robert L. Edwards: I wanted to become an actor since high school, but it was only a thought that I entertained in the back of my head at that time until 3 years ago. When I was younger, my insecurities prevented me from pursuing acting. Music has always been my main focus until now.

SKSM: How did you become involved in One for the Road Dollar Baby film?

Robert L. Edwards: I submitted a self-taped audition to Viktor Hernandez. I saw his casting call for One for the Road on the Southern Casting Call Facebook page.

SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?

Robert L. Edwards: For starters, it’s a story by Stephen King, even people that don’t like horror movies love Stephen King. I’m guessing this is due to his ability to write for different genres and connect with the imagination of people. I believe that people are attracted to this story because it takes place in the same Universe as his movie Salem’s Lot. Salem’s lot is one of Stephen King’s best films. From my understanding, the characters and events from One for the Road are connected to Salem’s Lot. Likewise, I believe that people are intrigued by vampires, and for some reason, they love to see movies that are based on these mysterious and supernatural creatures. In my option, it has been like this since the release of the vampire movie “Dracula” filmed back in 1931 which was based on the 1924 stage play Dracula by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston. Since then people have always been attracted to these types of movies. I could go deeper, but my statement would be longer.

SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?

Robert L. Edwards: I auditioned for the role of Booth. I was so excited that Viktor decided to cast me for this project. When he told me that I was booked, I was so happy to be a part of a film connected to Stephen King.

SKSM: You worked with Viktor Hernandez on this film, how was that?

Robert L. Edwards: Viktor is a great filmmaker and actor, I learned so much from him and his leadership. He knows what he wants and how to communicate his vision. He is a very humble and professional guy. Once I found out about his previous works and found out that he is also a great actor I was so excited. While working with him, he did not disappoint my expectations of him as a director.

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?

Robert L. Edwards: Yap, trying to avoid stepping in dog poop while on set at 1:00 am in the morning.

SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?

Robert L. Edward: I do keep in contact with the other two actors Jacqueline Dorry and Ligia Pressley via social media from time to time. I really enjoyed working with them on this project, they are great actresses.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Robert L. Edwards: Besides teaching music, I am working on perfecting my acting skills and learning about filmmaking which is an ongoing process. This experience helped me to I identify areas in my acting that need improvement. I am working on other film projects, beginning to focus more on film scoring, and auditioning for other projects at the moment. I am planning on working on a film myself soon. Currently, I am completing a wedding film project for an up and coming actress name Maritalyn Frazier. My goal at this point is to continue my acting classes, build my acting brand as well as my acting resume, and learn more about this industry.

SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Robert L. Edwards: Am I a fan! LORD YES! I have been a fan since I was a kid. I used to read Stephen King’s books and watched all his movies when I was younger. I’ve been a fan since I first saw the film Pet Sematary back in 1989, by the way, I am excited to see the remake. Stephen King can do no wrong in my eyes. I hope that I will be able to meet and work with him one day. Fingers crossed!!

SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Robert L. Edwards: I believe my decision to pursue acting at this point in my life surprised people. I surprised a lot of my family and friends when they found out that I decided to pursue film. I think that people would be more surprised that acting is a stress reliever and that it helps me to escape my life and live the life of someone else.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Robert L. Edwards: Please support this project by watching and sharing once it has been released. I believe that the cast, myself, Carmen the writer, and Viktor’s adaptation of this story will not disappoint you.

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Robert L. Edwards: I am so grateful that Viktor gave me this opportunity to be a part of his project and that I wish him and the other cast and crew member all the best in their future pursuits. It is also remarkable that Stephen King created the Dollar Baby program so that filmmakers can have access to some of his works. I would like to also thank you for offering me this interview opportunity.

 

He is the man behind Popsy Dollar Baby Film.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Max Richter: I’m a recent graduate from DePaul University in Chicago. I got my degree in film producing and am looking to move to Los Angeles in the next few months to continue my career there. Although my degree isn’t focused on anything in particular, in my time at college I’ve found myself more often than not at least doing the Directing or Cinematography for the work I’m involved in, if not both.

SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become a filmmaker?

Max Richter: I’ve loved movies ever since I was a little kid. I definitely grew up in a family that gave me a much greater appreciation for what film can be than I think most kids are privileged with and I’ve been obsessed with the idea of creating my own movies for probably more than half my life.

SKSM: When did you make Popsy? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?

Max Richter: We first began the early stages of pre-production about a year ago, which involved choosing the story, planning the shoot, creating a budget, and casting, all of which took us about three months from start to finish. The actual shoot was one full fourteen hour day and two half-days of less than six hours. We had a desired budget of $8,000, however we decided that we could still make it work with as little as $2,000 if we made serious cuts to the story. We ended up making about $4,900 on IndieGoGo, which was enough to make the project fairly accurate to our original ideas, but unfortunately we had to cut and change some locations because we simply couldn’t afford them. The post production process took significantly longer than we would have liked however, due to some changes in our post-production crew, and myself moving out of state for three months for school, but we finally got it finished completely in early June and we’re happy with how it’s turned out.

SKSM: How come you picked Popsy to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?

Max Richter: Our Producer and I read through all of the stories that are available for the Dollar Babies program and then narrowed it down between a few that we really wanted to adapt. From there it was mostly a matter of practicality; which story did we think we could most reasonably adapt given that we are going to be working with a very small budget? Popsy was the natural cross-section of feasibility and our own personal desires. Plus, I like vampires a lot.

SKSM: How did you find out that King sold the movie rights to some of his stories for just $1? Was it just a wild guess or did you know it before you sent him the check?

Max Richter: I began reading King’s work avidly back in spring of 2017, and while I was browsing a forum for fans of his stories, I found a thread talking about the Dollar Baby program. I was honestly completely dumbfounded that such an amazing program could be real. It didn’t seem possible that such a great opportunity could be missed by so many other students. I still haven’t met anyone in film school who knew about this program before hearing about our work on Popsy.

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?

Max Richter: Not a particular moment, but I just wanted to give special thanks to one of crew members, Noah Sliwa. He was a friend of our Producer’s, and while he’s not actually involved in the film industry at all, he just wanted to help out on set because he likes movies a lot. I didn’t know exactly what to expect out of him but he unbelievably helpful for us, and I genuinely don’t know that we would have been able to make the movie turn out as well as it did without him. If every set was full of Noah’s then every movie would be great. Or at least better.

SKSM: How does it feel that all the King fans out there can’t see your movie? Do you think that will change in the future? Maybe a internet/dvd release would be possible?

Max Richter: As part of the stipulations for the Dollar Babies contract, the film is not allowed to be listed online publicly in its entirely. Only 2 minutes of footage can be shown at most. As a result We’ve had to keep the film hidden behind a password-protected link, which is unfortunate for all the people who may want to see it, but I do understand the importance of King protecting his properties. What he is doing already is far beyond what most writers would ever dream of doing I think. Hopefully one day we can show it to everyone. I’d love to see all the other Dollar Babies films out there as well.

SKSM: What “good or bad” reviews have you received on your film?

Max Richter: Everyone at home who donated seems very happy with it from what I can tell. I’m hoping it stays that way!

SKSM: Do you plan to screen the movie at a particular festival?

Max Richter: We’re hoping to get into some, but no, there aren’t any particular festivals we have in mind. We’re still in the early stages of submitting it, we just want to keep our options open and expectations realistic.

SKSM: Are you a Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and adaptations?

Max Richter: Absolutely! I’ve read nearly twenty of his books in 2017 alone. So far I’d have to say that 11/22/63 is my favorite single novel of his, however nothing can beat the Dark Tower series for me.

SKSM: Did you have any personal contact with King during the making of the movie? Has he seen it (and if so, what did he think about it)?

Max Richter: Only insofar as securing the contract. I actually just sent a DVD of the finished film to his estate a day ago, so I’m hoping we’ll get to hear his thoughts on it personally!

SKSM: Do you have any plans for making more movies based on Stephen King’s stories? If you could pick -at least- one story to shoot, which one would it be and why?

Max Richter: If I could pick any story without limitations, I would definitely do a multi-season TV show adaptation of the Dark Tower, but it looks like Amazon may have beaten me to the punch in that regard.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Max Richter: My Producer and I are in the process of finishing another sci-fi short film called Eyes for Only You that you can find on my Vimeo page pretty soon. We’d like to collaborate on one or two more projects over the summer before I move out to Los Angeles, but really we have no concrete plans as of now.

SKSM: What one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Max Richter: I hate the color green with a passion.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Max Richter: I want to thank all of you for supporting publications like this with your viewership and being such a positive and amazing community!

 

He played in Joseph Horning’s Dollar Baby One For The Road as Booth.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Wayne Shearer: Well, in a word, I’m an actor.  I tend to play age-appropriate roles (read “old”) for either an angry, funny, cranky, or homeless old man.  Most of the time I’m a supporting character, rather than a lead character.  I consider myself a character actor.

SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actor?

Wayne Shearer: I guess I really didn’t… until I became one. I spent most of my life as and engineer and high school teacher.  Then one summer, a film company from New York was shooting a feature film in my hometown (a film called “Mount Joy”) and they needed extras. I had nothing else to do that summer, so I joined the production. Literally fell in love with it the first day on set. I continued doing extra work on weekends until I retired a few years later…then I started acting full-time.

SKSM: How did you become involved in One for the Road Dollar Baby film?

Wayne Shearer: Well, I’ve known Joseph Horning, the producer-director for a while.  I answered a casting call on “Backstage” and went in for the audition. I loved the story, loved the character, and Joseph gave me the part.  It was really that simple.

SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?

Wayne Shearer: Oh, it’s the vampires…LOL. I mean, we’ve all read and perhaps seen the story of Salem’s Lot. Well, imagine going back to visit that área after 30 years. Humans have long since stayed away from there… that is, until this unsuspecting family gets off the highway and ends up stuck in the middle of it all. Who among us hasn’t wondered how we’d react to an incomprehensible, unbelievable situation that threatens us and our loved ones. How far would we go?  How much would we sacrifice? Would we survive?

And besides that, it’s Stephen King… I know I love Stephen King. I assume other fans of this story do too.

SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?

Wayne Shearer: No, even though I knew the producer-director, I was still required to audition. But I really wanted this role.  So, I studied hard for that audition. And I gave it my best. I guess my best was good enough, because he gave me the role.

SKSM: You worked with Joseph Horning on this film, how was that?

Wayne Shearer: It was really amazing. We worked long hours in some tough conditions, but Joseph kept cool and collected through it all. It really helps when the person in charge doesn’t get fazed and frazzeled when things go wrong… because on a movie set, things ALWAYS go wrong.

The story takes place in one winter’s night…much of it outside.  So we shot in northern Pennsylvania, at night, along an abandoned bridge and road, in the middle of winter.  One night we shot until 3:30 AM and it was around 9 degrees (F, about -12 degrees Celsius).  We were cold.  We were shivering.  There was snow on the ground.  But we were stoked.  It was that kind of set.

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?

Wayne Shearer: Much of our film is set in an abandoned “Salem’s Lot”, 30 years after the original story. One night we were shooting along an abandoned road and we really had no facilities available. So the producer had a production assistant with a car available to run us up to a store with a restroom when we needed. That night we had several extras as vampires and while we were all warned to make the trip BEFORE we got in makeup and costume, one young lady tried to wait but had to go to the restroom after all her vampire makeup was on. Well, someone noticed and called the pólice, thinking maybe she was hurt or had been assaulted.

Pretty soon we had a couple of pólice cars on our set to check out what was going on. They actually were very nice and seemed more interested in watching us work. Not many films are shot in that área, so they hung around for a while. But it was a little disconcerting when it’s after midnight and the pólice show up in the middle of a field. LOL.

SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?

Wayne Shearer: Actually, I do stay in touch with Joseph, with our makeup artists, with Chris Wagler, one of our producers, and Eric Slodysko, one of the lead actors.  I see others from the production from time to time, too. And we have some upcoming social events and promotional events that will get many of us back together.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Wayne Shearer: I currently am playing the “Dark Priest” in a horror feature called “Arisen 2: Revelations” and next month return to filming a feature film called “Pharaoh’s Bread” where I am the lead. I also have several other projects starting in July and August, including “Heavenly Brunch”, a faith-based film from a California production company. I’m very fortunate to be working several projects and will be busy for most of the summer.

SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Wayne Shearer: I love Stephen King. I’ve read most everything he has written and as I told Joseph when he gave me the role, I was honored to be performing Mr. King’s own words. Life just doesn’t get much better than that.

SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Wayne Shearer: Perhaps the most surprising thing is that I started acting later in life. Most of my life I was a computer engineer and then a high school math teacher. After retiring from teaching I took up acting.  My third career… and my most satisfying.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Wayne Shearer: First I want to thank ALL fans of film, especially those who take the time to watch indie film. Without you, our work would all be in vain. We do this for YOU. Yes, we enjoy what we do, but most of all we love to see the fans of our films enjoy our efforts. You make it all worth while. I hope all the fans get to see our film.

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Wayne Shearer: Only that I want to thank you and the Dollar Baby Film Festival for giving me this opportunity. I hope you get to see our film and I hope you enjoy it. And, of course, a big “Thank You” to Stephen King… for the stories… for the Dollar Baby Project… and for giving us a life time of fun and fear… he’s truly an artist.

Thank you.

 

He played in Landon Kestlinger’s Dollar Baby The Reach as Bill.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Andrew Mitchell: I am Andrew Mitchell and I play the character of Bill in The Reach. I am from Scotland and I am currently studying Digital Media and Information Studies at the University of Glasgow.

SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actor?

Andrew Mitchell: As far back as I remember I always wanted to try acting due to being a fan of film growing up, but I was a shy child growing up. When I went to university I became involved with the Glasgow University Student Television society (GUST) which give me opportunities to appear on screen, which helped me get comfortable in front of the camera.

SKSM: How did you become involved in The Reach Dollar Baby film?

Andrew Mitchell: I became involved with The Reach through my association with GUST. Landon Kestlinger pitched the idea during one of GUST’s meetings and I liked the idea. Afterwards I talked to Landon to ask if he needed any help with the project, which opened the door for my involvement.

SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?

Andrew Mitchell: The themes involved in The Reach are relatable and there is a sense of romance involved with a loved one watching over you from the afterlife. Also, it’s a Stephen King adaptation and the man writing is incredible, always worth seeing his adaptations.

SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?

Andrew Mitchell: Someone in the crew suggested to Landon about auditioning me the part of Bill, I originally came on board to help behind the scenes, however I agreed to read for the part and Landon then offered me the role.

SKSM: You worked with Landon Kestlinger on this film, how was that?

Andrew Mitchell: It was a great experience, Landon had a lot of great ideas and he made the cast and crew feel very welcomed during the production of the film.

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?

Andrew Mitchell: When it came to the final day of shooting we went to Loch Lomond, Luss which was north of Glasgow and the location was beautiful. When I had arrived, Landon informed me that there was a slight change in the script and that I would have to sing. As much as I enjoy singing, I’m not very good at it and it took a few takes to get it right. That was a funny moment for me.

SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?

Andrew Mitchell: I’m still in contact with Iona MacRitchie and I have exchanged a few messages with Landon.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Andrew Mitchell: I am currently starring in a new project directed and written by David Campbell, which is a mockumentary about one man who wants to realise his dream of becoming a wrestler, and the hapless camera crew who follow his every move. In preparation for the role, I began my professional wrestling training at the Glasgow Pro Wrestling Asylum training school.

SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Andrew Mitchell: I’m a fan of his many works, such as It, Misery, The Shining and The Running Man. Also, The Shawshank Redemption which I am very fond of and I would argue has to be one of the best movies ever made.

SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Andrew Mitchell: I think due to being 6ft 2” people would assume I was good at sports like basketball, however I’m terrible at sports. Also, I think I surprise people with my cooking as I have been told I can cook a good steak.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Andrew Mitchell: Thank you for the interview, it has been great. I would like to say to anyone reading this who’s maybe a little worried about getting into films. First of all, try and get involved with anything film related, don’t worry about messing up because it’s a learning experience and although the process of coming up with ideas and making them happen can be difficult, it is so rewarding seeing it all come together.

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Andrew Mitchell: Follow me on Instagram at andy__mitchell. I hope you enjoyed The Reach and thanks again.

 

 

He is the man behind One For The Road Dollar Baby Film.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Viktor Hernandez: I’m Viktor Hernandez, I’m an actor and filmmaker originally from El Salvador and now residing in North Carolina, USA. I have been acting professionally for over 17 years now. I have had the opportunity to be in a few big Hollywood movies and just a few years back I started writing and directing.

SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become a filmmaker?

Viktor Hernandez: I think it was when I was 12 years old when I realized that i enjoyed telling stories in a unique manner. I enjoyed watching movies and wanted to be in them.  The dream didn’t come true until years later when I had the opportunity to become an actor and be part of a film. After acting for many years I also wanted to tell my stories and started directing my own short films just a few years back.

SKSM: When did you make One for the Road? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?

Viktor Hernandez: We started filming in September of 2017 and finished principal photography in March 2018. We have had many difficulties making the film but we are hopeful that it will be finished by July 2018. The main reason it took this long to film is due to the budget for the production. We actually had no budget to film it. Everyone involved in the production donated their talent and time and expertise to make it happen, therefore we had to schedule the shoots in a way that everyone would be available without causing disruption to their other jobs or engagements. That being said,the cost to make it would be over $2000 plus some additional miscellaneous expenses and including some of the actors accommodations and refreshments.

SKSM: How come you picked One for the Road to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?

Viktor Hernandez: I saw a posting in one of our filmmakers groups on Facebook by the writer of the adaptation (Carmen Smith) that wanted collaborators to make the short film and I submitted my name to be consider to direct it. After the producer/writer saw some of my work, she sent me the script, and I really liked the way that the suspense is built throughout the whole story without giving too much away.

SKSM: How did you find out that King sold the movie rights to some of his stories for just $1? Was it just a wild guess or did you know it before you sent him the check?

Viktor Hernandez: I really had no clue that something like this was available until the writer mentioned how the process worked. Carmen Smith had done all the paperwork and investigation before I came on board. This is a really good opportunity.

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?

Viktor Hernandez: There were several funny moments on set, mainly having to do with the dialog and the way that it was delivered by the actors and also on occasions the way that i would try to recreate certain scenes for the actors. The special moments really happened every shoot day, with the collaboration of everyone involved in the production, but also having to get some shots using DIY gear and doing some conventional make believe for several scenes.

SKSM: How does it feel that all the King fans out there can’t see your movie? Do you think that will change in the future? Maybe a internet/dvd release would be possible?

Viktor Hernandez: That is one of the things that I wasn’t aware when I signed up to direct this short. I understand that the film can be shown at film festivals and special private screenings but I think it would be nice to have a platform to show all of the work based on the short stories from this great author.

SKSM: What “good or bad” reviews have you received on your film?

Viktor Hernandez:  Since we haven’t finished the film, I haven’t gotten any good or bad reviews so far, but its coming together and I will be open to any constructive criticism like with any of my previous work.

SKSM: Do you plan to screen the movie at a particular festival?

Viktor Hernandez: We are planning on submitting the film to several festivals in the US and other countries.

SKSM: Are you a Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and adaptations?

Viktor Hernandez: Yes I am a fan of Stephen King, I like “Pet Cemetery“, “The Shining“, “The Green mile“, and others but my favorite work of his is without a doubt “IT“.

SKSM: Did you have any personal contact with King during the making of the movie? Has he seen it (and if so, what did he think about it)?

Viktor Hernandez: No, since the producer Carmen Smith was the one who has handled all of the process regarding the Dollar Baby.  We will send a copy to Stephen King when the film is finished and we hope to get some kind of response from him.

SKSM: Do you have any plans for making more movies based on Stephen King’s stories? If you could pick -at least- one story to shoot, which one would it be and why?

Viktor Hernandez: At the moment I have other projects in the works and not sure if would be able to make another story from Stephen King, but I think I would pick the short story called “Mute“. It may not be easy to set up and execute, but I would like a different challenge and the surprise factor of the story is always something that gets my attention.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Viktor Hernandez: Right now we are still in post-production for the short film and I am doing the editing , but also I’m writing another script to hopefully shoot by the end of the year.  It will be another thriller.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Viktor Hernandez: I imagine we are talking about Stephen King fans, I would like to thank all the fans out there for having an interest to see how my version of the short story comes out. I hope that we can share it with you and all the fans that follow the dollar baby stories.

SKSM: Would you like to add anything else?

Viktor Hernandez: I want to thank you for reaching out and doing this interview to allow me to talk about my project  and help to get the word out. Thanks a million!!  I invite everyone that would like to find out more about my previous work or new projects to visit my website www.viktorhernandez.com

Thanks again!!

 

He played in Landon Kestlinger’s Dollar Baby The Reach as Alden.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Steven McDonald: My name is Steven McDonald. I am an actor living in Edinburgh, Scotland. I do mostly screen acting but also some stage work. I have been a songwriter for 30 years and release albums with my band Einstein’s Wardrobe. I am learning to direct and devise screen and stage plays just now and would also love to write novels in the future.

SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actor?

Steven McDonald: I was used to performing on stage as a musician but was persuaded about 7 years ago by a friend to have a go st musical theatre. I realised quickly that I enjoyed being on stage and after having finished acting in a production of Bugsy Malone, I started auditioning for lead roles and found myself being cast. I decided in 2016 to turn pro and started screen acting in 2017. I was involved in about 25 screen projects last year. The Reach was one of the highlights for me.

SKSM: How did you become involved in The Reach Dollar Baby film?

Steven McDonald: I saw an advert by Landon Kestlinger and immediately contacted him. I am a huge Stephen King fan and already knew the story from Skeleton Crew. I wanted to play the part of Alden as I thought it would suit me. And it was an honour to be involved.

SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?

Steven McDonald: A lot of people think Stephen King is all about horror. But that is far from the truth. This is a touching story about relationships between people who care deeply about one another. There is a supernatural element of course which adds Stephen King’s unique signature, however the sentimental journey of the characters for me makes it special.

SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?

Steven McDonald: I applied online and sent a CV with links to my previous work and some headshots and stills from other film projects.

SKSM: You worked with Landon Kestlinger on this film, how was that?

Steven McDonald: He was great. A pleasure working with him. He is a talented and driven director and I loved the script for The Reach. I felt it facilitated very well the transition from book to screen. The last lines get me every time emotionally.

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?

Steven McDonald: Some really special moments, mostly because I was working with great people. The cast and crew were lovely to work with. I knew Carrie already so the fact we were playing family friends felt pretty natural. And it was the first time I had worked with Freda but the scenes together were really enjoyable. I hope I can work with both actors and crew again.

SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?

Steven McDonald: Yes. I keep in touch with Carrie, Freda and Landon.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Steven McDonald: I have some screen projects coming up, including two short independent films, a feature film called Trigger Happy and a couple of episodes of a comedy series called Sons of Spielberg. I still like to do some stage work so I have a play called Lilies I will be working on with a Polish theatre group called The Mirror of Stage. The version I will be doing is in English and is based on Polish folklore. I am also going to be playing live gigs over the summer with my band Einstein’s Wardrobe.

SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Steven McDonald: Yes. Huge fan. I usually download his audiobooks as he narrates a lot of them. My favourites are classics like The Stand, It and The Shining but I also love the recent Mr Mercedes trilogy.

SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Steven McDonald: I am a qualified lawyer. I practiced full time for 20 years before I turned pro as an actor.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Steven McDonald: I really appreciate being asked and if you want to follow what I do or keep in touch I have a Facebook page. See www.tallboyperformingarts.co.uk for updates. I am also found on Instagram under tallboyperformingarts

My band are also on Facebook. See www.einsteinswardrobe.co.uk or you can find us on Apple Music, Spotify etc.

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Steven McDonald: Thank you again for asking me to do this. And a huge thanks to Landon for asking me to play Alden. I really appreciate it. And a shout out too to Carrie, Freda and the crew. Hope to see you all soon.

 

Title: Grey matter (2018) Bandera de Estados Unidos
Runtime: ?
Director: Bolen Miller
Script: Ted Rooney, Ernest Adams, Victor Morris, Nick Cassidy, Miles Hayden, Wrick Jones, Ira Kortum, Stephen Kelsey.
Cast: ?
Trailer
Web imdb Facebook Twitter

 

She played in Stephen Dean‘s Dollar Baby Rest Stop as Ellen.

SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

Grace Thomas: I am actor local to Atlanta. I have lived and travelled abroad but the film industry took a foothold here in Atlanta, Georgia a few years ago and so I returned to take my place in it. I am also a floral assistant, culinary and hiking enthusiast.

SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actress?

Grace Thomas: Hahahahaha. I want to be an actor long before I gave in to the deep desire to do so, probably 15 years ago but I tried to suppress the need and ultimately decided to pursue it professionally. You see, I tried not to be an actor because I do value stability and this is not often an industry that provides monetary or geographical consistency but my heart won. If you were born to do something it is difficult to ignore. Also, film acting is a bit different because the lens strips away all facade and sees into your soul- that can be a scary thing.

SKSM: How did you become involved in Rest Stop Dollar Baby film?

Grace Thomas:I saw a posting on Actor’s Access and submitted an audition, I was fortunate enough to be entrusted with such a rich character as Ellen.

SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?

Grace Thomas: We all walk around as multiple versions of ourselves and I loved seeing a duplicitous main character who is an outwardly “put together” woman and has a take charge/ even violent alter ego. The characters all have layers and that is always attractive as it allows and audience to explore the levels of themselves too.

SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?

Grace Thomas: Stephen cast a large net and posted on Actors Access and luckily I was granted an audition and brought Ellen to life.

SKSM: You worked with Stephen Dean on this film, how was that?

Grace Thomas: He is a great communicator and very generous as a director. Also, as the writer of the screenplay (as adapted from Stephen King) he was not tied to his vision alone. Stephen invited collaboration and watched out for our well being. He is an actors director so to speak.

SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?

Grace Thomas: The night we filmed not much went as planned and it was a very cold night but  we huddled together and made jokes in between scenes to distract ourselves. It fostered a collegial environment in which to work and with very intense scenes like mine one needs to be able to build in a positive and safe space as well.

SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?

Grace Thomas: I don’t. Atlanta is a smaller market but it is quite saturated and I can only hope to work with some of these folks in the future.

SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?

Grace Thomas: I get a good bit of commercial work and so that has been a blessing, as well as, preparing for an experimental production of a play called Constellations with a beautiful ensemble of actors in Atlanta, GA.

SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?

Grace Thomas: Yes I am a fan. Although, I must admit that it has been at least 10 years since I have read one of his novels.

SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Grace Thomas: I am an only, a middle, and and oldest child- I know that can be a bit confusing. I am quite positive that each of those rolls has helped to shape me uniquely.

SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?

Grace Thomas: The pleasure was mine. Thank you for your support and time spent reading my thoughts. Please support small film productions in your local areas and never ever convince yourself that you are too old to chase your dreams. I believe that you only live one and since you can fail at something you don’t like doing, you might as well spend your life chasing what you love. Be brave and live boldly.

SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?

Grace Thomas: No sir, thank you so much for the opportunity.

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